Twenty-one year old Daniel Wilkerson may have been a passenger in one of the more incredible accidents in recent NHRA history earlier this month, however that hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for racing.
Instead, Wilkerson’s first reaction after the near head-on impact with the Memphis Motorsports Park Wall was the one any team owner or crew chief would want to hear: He wanted to get back in the race car. Unfortunately for ‘D.Wilk’, he had no race car to get back in.
“Once I climbed out and everything was still attached, still working, and nothing hurt, the first thing I wanted to do was get right back in,” said Wilkerson.
“That wreck was about as bad as anything I could imagine, but I still want to drive more than anything. If you would’ve offered me another car to drive, right there in Memphis right after it happened, I’d have jumped right in.”
The specific cause of Wilkerson’s crash, which clearly came about after both rear wheels came off the car, is still under investigation, although the video replays also clearly illustrated that the young Illinois driver was doing all the right things despite being simply along for the ride.
His father, veteran Funny Car racer Tim Wilkerson, even went so far as to say he couldn’t think of anything he would’ve done differently had he been in the car, and that he was proud of his son for how he handled the situation.